The U.S. Pinoy for Good Government’s petition to have CNMI undocumented aliens included in the U.S. House of Representatives’ comprehensive immigration bill already has garnered more than 2,000 signatures.
USP4GG Marianas Chapter chair Dr. Celia Lamkin said a total of 2,041 people have signed both the paper and online versions of the petition as its deadline ended last Thursday, Aug. 15.
She said there were several very compelling and touching messages left by those who signed the petition.
“There were three workers who said that they were working in the CNMI legally for 25, 28, and 32 years, respectively, have paid taxes, contributed to the economy of the CNMI, been productive citizens, and they were asking that the U.S. Congress to hear the petition to give them permanent residency or green card without the CW waiting period and even those who have worked legally for five years because we are under the U.S. immigration [system] already.”
Lamkin said that a granddaughter of a foreign worker whose father is Chamorro and mother is Filipina said that she cannot fathom until now why her grandmother is still not a permanent resident and she has been working on Saipan for 28 years.
The USP4GG petition also attracted the support of former Philippine Consul General Wilfredo Maximo, USP4GG legal counsel and spokesperson attorney Ted Laguatan, European Network of Filipino in Diaspora chair Gene Alcantara, as well as other supporters from Guam and the U.S. mainland.
“It is heartening to know that there are many people from different countries that support our petition,” said Lamkin.
She said that Eduardo Navarra, the national chairperson of the National Federation of Filipino American Association, or NaFFAA, has expressed support after she contacted him. “He asked all members all over the states to support the petition.”
The U.S. Senate recently passed its versions of a comprehensive immigration bill that included provisions for longtime CNMI workers in the Commonwealth. However, it didn’t include undocumented aliens in the measure, even though it seeks to provide a pathway to citizenship to 11 million or so illegal aliens in the U.S. mainland.
Aside from the inclusion of undocumented aliens in the CNMI in the comprehensive immigration bill, USP4GG is also calling for the scrapping of the five-year waiting period as an eligibility requirement for permanent resident status or green card application.
USP4GG’s petition urges the U.S. House to consider proposed amendments to the Section 2109 of S. 744 and is addressed to House Speaker John Boehner.